A Canadian spin studio followed public health guidelines. But 61 people still caught the covid-19.

Now, despite appearing to have complied with public health regulations, at least 61 people linked to the studio have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“They had done all sorts of things to remove the potential for spread,” Richardson told reporters. “Unfortunately, gyms are a higher-risk place because of the fact that generally people are taking off their masks, they’re breathing at a higher rate.”

Although Hamilton requires masks to be worn in most public settings, the law includes an exemption for anyone “actively engaged in an athletic or fitness activity.” In keeping with that policy, the studio, SPINCO, allowed riders to remove their masks once clipped into their bikes, and told them to cover up again before dismounting.

In a recent Instagram post, SPINCO’s owners said that they had been “hesitant” to reopen after getting the green light in July, and would not resume classes “until it is safe to do so.” Health officials have said that the studio is temporarily closed and cooperating fully with the investigation.

“We took all the measures public health offered, even added a few, and still the pandemic struck us again!’” the owners wrote. SPINCO has more than a dozen locations across Canada.

As of Tuesday, 44 cases linked to specific classes were detected, Richardson said. An additional 17 instances of “secondary cases” were found among other contacts.

The city will reexamine gym protocols, Richardson added Tuesday, but in the meantime, “what seems to be the case is that you need to wear that mask” even though government guidelines do not strictly require it.

“It’s still a good idea to do it, in terms of keeping others safe,” she said.

People should also avoid “classes where you’ve got that kind of yelling or coaching over music.”

She declined to use the term “superspreader” to describe the event but said it is a “very large outbreak.”

“It is concerning that it is extended beyond the initial cases who were related to the classes but gone into of course their household contacts and other contacts,” she said. “We continue to look at what does it mean, what do we need to understand about exercise classes?”

The outbreak offers further evidence of the dangers of people gathering indoors without masks, as health experts warn that cases could spike further in the coming months as winter weather sets in and outdoor gatherings and exercise classes will be harder to maintain.

In August, South Korea confirmed dozens of cases linked to a single Starbucks in the city of Paju where many customers did not wear masks. The store employees, who wore masks, were not infected. The outbreak prompted Starbucks to limit its indoor seating in the country and encourage masks among patrons.

In other instances, mask usage has been credited with preventing potential outbreaks. In May, after the reopening of a hair salon in Missouri that required masks, two stylists — who had worked with more than 100 clients — tested positive for the virus. But masks were

Facebook will ban ads discouraging people from getting vaccines

By Elizabeth Culliford

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc will start banning ads that discourage people from getting vaccinated, the social media company said on Tuesday, as it also announced a new flu vaccine information campaign.

The company said in a blog post that ads advocating for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines, including a COVID-19 vaccine, would still be allowed.

Facebook will begin to enforce the new policy in the next few days.

Facebook, which has been under pressure from lawmakers and public health groups to crack down on anti-vaccine content and misinformation on its platform, said that although a COVID-19 vaccine would not be available for some time, the pandemic had highlighted the importance of preventative health behaviors.

Facebook’s rules prohibit ads with vaccine misinformation, but ads expressing opposition to vaccines had been allowed if they did not contain false claims.

This summer, Facebook Public Policy Manager Jason Hirsch told Reuters the company believed users should be able to express such personal views and that more aggressive censorship could push people hesitant about vaccines towards the anti-vaccine camp.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Richard Chang)

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Drinking coffee may protect some people against Parkinson’s

A recent study found lower levels of caffeine in the blood of people with Parkinson’s disease. The study compared people with Parkinson’s who carry a particular genetic mutation known to increase Parkinson’s risk with people who carry the same mutation but do not have the disease.

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive brain disorder characterized by tremors, rigidity in the limbs and torso, and movement and balance problems. People with the condition also have an increased risk of depression and dementia.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, more than 1 million people in North America and more than 4 million people worldwide have Parkinson’s disease. In the United States, about 60,000 people receive a diagnosis each year.

Around 15% of people with the disease have a family history of Parkinson’s, which suggests they inherited genes that increased their risk of developing the condition. However, most cases result from a complex, poorly understood interaction of genetic and environmental factors.

Several environmental factors, such as head trauma, chemicals, and drugs, have associations with increased risk, whereas exercise has associations with reduced risk.

A 2010 review of previous research found that the more caffeine people regularly consumed, the lower their risk of developing Parkinson’s.

Another study showed that people with Parkinson’s who have no genetic risk factors for the disease have lower caffeine levels in their blood than people without the disease.

A team led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA, set out to discover whether coffee might also protect people with a mutation in the LRRK2 gene. Having this gene increases the risk of developing the disease but does not guarantee it.

The researchers compared people with and without Parkinson’s disease. Both groups contained people with and without a mutation in the LRRK2 gene.

The researchers found that the differences in the blood caffeine levels between people with Parkinson’s and those without were greater among individuals with this genetic mutation.

Dr. Grace Crotty, who led the research, says:

“These results are promising and encourage future research exploring caffeine and caffeine-related therapies to lessen the chance that people with this gene develop Parkinson’s … It’s also possible that caffeine levels in the blood could be used as a biomarker to help identify which people with this gene will develop the disease, assuming caffeine levels remain relatively stable.”

The authors published the study in the journal Neurology.

The scientists analyzed blood plasma samples from 368 individuals enrolled in the LRRK2 Cohort Consortium, a research project established in 2009 coordinated and funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

One group contained 188 individuals with Parkinson’s, and the control group included 180 people without the disease. Around the same proportion of each group had a mutation in the LRRK2 gene.

When the researchers compared the chemical profile of plasma from the two groups, they found the levels of five particular chemicals differed the most — all of them caffeine-related.

Concentrations of all five chemicals were significantly lower among

People Harmed by Coronavirus Vaccines Will Have Little Recourse

The U.S. government paid out $4.4 billion over more than 30 years covering injuries relating to a host of vaccines—from flu to polio—but payouts for potential injuries from Covid-19 vaccines will be covered by a far less-generous program.

Covid-19 vaccine injuries will be covered under a program known as the “countermeasures injury” compensation fund, which was set up in 2010 to cover harm resulting from vaccines for a flu pandemic, or drugs to treat an anthrax or Ebola outbreak, for example.

This year, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said the countermeasures fund should also cover injuries from Covid-19 vaccines, giving drug companies immunity from potential liability lawsuits.

But the fund isn’t expected to offer much of a remedy to the public, according to lawyers and vaccine experts. Since it began processing claims, the fund has paid out $6 million on 29 claims, averaging $207,000 per person, compared with $585,000 on average per person for an older vaccine injury fund.

Behind the gap: The new fund has a tougher threshold for proving a relationship between an injury and the vaccine, experts say. The newer fund has a shorter statute of limitations, no avenue for appeals and doesn’t pay damages for pain or suffering like the older vaccine program does.

“The recourse for the people that get it initially is not going to be great” if they are harmed by any Covid-19 vaccines, said Renée Gentry, director of the Vaccine Injury Litigation Clinic at George Washington University Law School. “The countermeasures compensation program is effectively a right to file and lose.”

Several companies, including

Pfizer Inc.


Moderna Inc.,

are testing whether experimental vaccines safely protect people from Covid-19 in late-stage clinical trials. Initial results could be available in the coming weeks, and if they are positive the U.S. government could authorize emergency use of the shots.

Vaccines generally are safe, but they can cause side effects—called “adverse events” in studies—including shoulder injuries related to injections, allergic reactions, fainting and certain neurological conditions like encephalitis. Some of the side effects are rare, and public-health officials say the benefits of vaccines in preventing diseases like polio, measles and rotavirus outweigh the risks.

Some people receiving experimental Covid-19 vaccines have experienced fatigue, chills and injection-site pain, studies show. Drug companies have said most of the events are mild or moderate, and that the vaccines were generally well tolerated.

Yet some of the symptoms have been pronounced. In a small study of Moderna’s vaccine in healthy volunteers ages 18 to 55, about 40% of people receiving the dose level now being tested in a larger trial experienced fever after the second of the two-injection regimen, and 80% had chills.

Nearly all study subjects had injection-site pain, according to results published online by the New England Journal of Medicine in July.

Ian Hayden received the two-dose Moderna vaccine regimen at a study site in Seattle. After the second shot in May, he experienced fever and chills, which became severe enough to send him

More than 80% of people with coronavirus had no symptoms: UK study

Local residents and visitors shop in Peascod Street on 27th August 2020 in Windsor, United Kingdom.

Mark Kerrison | In Pictures | Getty Images

So-called “silent spreaders” of the coronavirus could be more common than previously thought, with a U.K. study finding that more than two thirds of people who tested positive for the virus were asymptomatic on the day they took a test.

University College London researchers studied data collected by U.K. statistics body, the Office for National Statistics, which has been regularly collecting coronavirus testing data from thousands of British households during the pandemic as part of its “infection survey.” The survey tests households whether they have symptoms or not.

The study, which was peer reviewed, looked at 36,061 individuals who took a coronavirus test as part of the infection survey between 26 April and 27 June 2020. It found that 86.1% of those who tested positive for the virus did not report “core” symptoms associated with the virus (a cough, fever or a loss of taste and/or smell) on the day they took a test. Out of the 115 people that received a positive coronavirus result, only 16 reported the main symptoms that we associate with the virus.

Researchers Irene Petersen and Andrew Phillips concluded in the study, published in the Clinical Epidemiology journal on Thursday, that “Covid-19 symptoms are poor markers of SARS-CoV-2 (the new coronavirus).”

“To reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, it is important to identify those who are infectious. However, little is known about what proportion of infectious people are asymptomatic and potential “silent” transmitters,” the researchers noted.

The results of the study showed that “a more widespread testing programme is necessary to capture ‘silent’ transmission and potentially prevent and reduce future outbreaks,” they argued.

Testing regimes have had mixed success in Europe. While Germany has been praised for its extensive testing program and track and trace system to contain outbreaks, the U.K. took a while to ramp up widespread testing, and has been under pressure from a rapid increase in demand for tests, and delays in processing.

The launch of the U.K.’s track and trace app was also delayed and the government most recently came under fire when it emerged that it had “missed” thousands of positive cases due to a data blunder.

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The New England Journal of Medicine urges people to vote Trump out in an extraordinary editorial

The first question at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate was why the U.S. has fared so much worse than other countries in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The New England Journal of Medicine had offered an answer hours earlier, in a very unusual editorial: The U.S. government has, uniquely in the world, “failed at almost every step.” The 202-year-old medical journal’s editors did not endorse Joe Biden, as Scientific American did last month, or mention President Trump by name, but the message was a clear prescription to vote him out in November.

“The United States came into this crisis with enormous advantages,” the editors detail. But “the response of our nation’s leaders has been consistently inadequate. The federal government has largely abandoned disease control to the states. Governors have varied in their responses, not so much by party as by competence. But whatever their competence, governors do not have the tools that Washington controls. Instead of using those tools, the federal government has undermined them.”

The federal government’s “weak and inappropriate” policies have cause additional U.S. deaths “at least in the tens of thousands,” the editorial estimates, concluding:

Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences. Our leaders have largely claimed immunity for their actions. But this election gives us the power to render judgment. Reasonable people will certainly disagree about the many political positions taken by candidates. But truth is neither liberal nor conservative. When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs. [New England Journal of Medicine editorial]

“We rarely publish editorials signed by all the editors,” Dr. Eric Rubin, the NEJM‘s editor-in-chief, told CNN. And “the reason we’ve never published an editorial about elections is we’re not a political journal and I don’t think that we want to be a political journal — but the issue here is around fact, not around opinion. There have been many mistakes made that were not only foolish but reckless and I think we want people to realize that there are truths here, not just opinions.” Read the full editorial at The New England Journal of Medicine.

More stories from theweek.com
Mike Pence was the unlikely winner of the vice presidential debate
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Trump is shockingly bad at this

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Sleep Apnea Aid Eases Heart Problems in People With Prediabetes | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter


WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Continuous positive airway pressure treatment, commonly known as CPAP, can lower heart disease risk in people with prediabetes, according to a new study.

In prediabetes, blood sugar levels are above normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes. CPAP is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. A CPAP machine uses a mask to deliver steady air pressure into a person’s airway.

This new study found that, among people with prediabetes and sleep apnea, those who used CPAP for two weeks saw their resting heart rate fall by four to five beats per minute, compared to those who didn’t use CPAP.

With optimal CPAP treatment, heart rates were not only lower at night but also during the day, according to the report published Oct. 1 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“That’s significant,” said study author Dr. Esra Tasali, director of sleep research at University of Chicago Medicine.

Even a drop of one beat per minute in resting heart rate can lower the future risk of heart disease and death, she noted in a university news release.

“A four- to five-beat-per-minute drop in heart rate that we observed is comparable to what you would get from regular exercise,” Tasali said. “Our breakthrough finding is the carryover of the lowered resting heart rate into the daytime and the cardiovascular benefit of that.”

About one billion people worldwide have obstructive sleep apnea, and more than 60% of them have prediabetes or diabetes. About 80% of people with apnea are undiagnosed, the researchers noted.

The findings are especially timely because people with diabetes or heart problems are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, the study authors pointed out.

“Any way we can improve cardiovascular health is more important than ever these days,” Tasali said.

The findings show the need for people who have prediabetes, diabetes or sleeping problems to be screened for sleep apnea, said study author Dr. Sushmita Pamidi, a sleep physician-scientist at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on prediabetes.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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‘If I Could Just Show People How Beautiful This Looks’

Ash Soto

Ash Soto wants others to learn to love themselves.

Known on social media as “the girl with the world painted on her body,” Soto has vitiligo, a skin disorder that results in the loss of pigmentation. Using body paint to create art, she has empowered herself while encouraging body acceptance in others.

Soto currently has around 166,000 Instagram followers and regularly garners more than 10,000 likes on her posts, which often feature her signature art — tracing the natural lines on her skin to create a map-like masterpiece.

However, the Florida resident and Puerto Rican native, 26, tells PEOPLE she wasn’t always so confident in herself, especially when she was first diagnosed with vitiligo at age 12.

Ash Soto

RELATED: Broadcaster Opens Up About Living with Vitiligo

“Right when I showed the doctor my spots, they immediately knew what it was,” she recalls of the initial doctor’s appointment. “I just remember being so scared in that moment and confused. I didn’t know what vitiligo was — I had no knowledge of it.”

At school, Soto was bullied and often felt like she had to hide her body under heavy sweaters and pants, even in the Florida heat. Eventually, however, she began to give herself “challenges” to achieve.

“I knew that I didn’t want to live that way anymore and I knew that I had to make the change,” she says. “So with time I started doing little challenges, whether it was going outside in shorts or going outside in a tank top, which seems so small for some people, but for me, it was the biggest thing ever.”

Ash Soto

RELATED: Photographer Travels the Country Taking Portraits of Others with Vitiligo: It’s Nice to ‘Be a Support System’

It was about five years ago that Soto first began using art to to build her confidence, after she accidentally drew on herself and ended up tracing her entire body.

“I started tracing every spot that I could have reached and when I looked in the mirror, it just looked so cool and beautiful — it looked like a map to me,” she says. “So I was like, ‘Wow, this is so empowering. If I could just show people how beautiful this looks, maybe they won’t find their vitiligo something that has to be a burden.’”

Now, Soto says she hopes her social media presence and use of body art can inspire others to accept themselves in the way she was able to.

“I just hope that they see that they’re not alone, and that there’s somebody like them in the world,” she says. “When I was diagnosed, I didn’t really have anybody to look up to, so I just want my platform to be that safety place for people that are going through the same thing.”

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In a few days, more people in Trump’s orbit tested positive for coronavirus than in all of Taiwan

Trump announced his positive test early Friday, and was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center later that day. He returned Monday to the White House, where he removed his mask, despite doctors saying he was still contagious.

Meanwhile, Taiwan — the self-ruled island home to 23 million people — reported just eight new cases in the past week.

More than a dozen countries have reported fewer than 10 new coronavirus cases in the past seven days, including several that have not reported any cases at all. Not all such case numbers are reliable. Some countries are facing serious testing shortages. Others stand accused of avoiding public disclosure of their case numbers. But Taiwan has been widely praised for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Late last year, as word of an unusual respiratory illness in the Chinese city of Wuhan began to spread, Taiwanese officials scrambled to start screening passengers arriving from the city as early as Dec. 31. In January, a Taiwanese health official raised serious alarm about the virus in an attempt to warn the rest of the world about what could come next.

But it was months before many other governments realized the virus was set to upend the world as we know it.

As hospital wards became overwhelmed in hot spots across the globe, Taiwan — which was prepared to launch intensive contact-tracing initiatives — has managed to avoid the worst of the pandemic. The island has confirmed just 521 coronavirus cases and seven deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. The vast majority of cases have not been domestically transmitted.

In August, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited the island, where he commended officials for their fast response to the pandemic, calling it “world-class.” Speaking to reporters in Taipei, Azar told reporters that Taiwan acted quickly in part because it had been “scarred” by Beijing’s handling of the SARS outbreak nearly two decades earlier.

Elsewhere, numbers are a bit cloudier.

Several countries reporting fewer than 10 cases in the past week are located in sub-Saharan Africa, including some that did not report any new cases to the World Health Organization. Although many countries in Africa appear to have fared far better against the virus than experts initially suggested they might, in some places, testing shortages or other factors could be affecting case counts.

Experts have questioned the caseload in Tanzania, for example, where President John Magufuli has insisted that the country’s outbreak is “absolutely finished.”

And when it comes to cloudy numbers, the same holds true for how many infections may trace their roots back to the White House. Numerous guests who attended the Rose Garden event told The Washington Post they have not been subject to a contact-tracing effort.

And Trump’s behavior since his diagnosis — including his decision to leave the hospital to drive past his supporters and to remove his mask upon return to the White House on Monday — has stunned epidemiologists, who fear he continues

Trump says he’ll be discharged shortly, tells people not to fear coronavirus

The Week

Rudy Giuliani’s cough kept interrupting him while he tried to attack Biden on Fox News

While waiting to receive the results of a coronavirus test, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News Monday night, where he coughed throughout his interview with host Martha MacCallum.Giuliani is President Trump’s personal lawyer and one of his most ardent supporters. He helped Trump prepare for last week’s debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and several people Giuliani came in close contact with, including Trump, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trump aide Hope Hicks, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) have all tested positive for the coronavirus.Giuliani shared with MacCallum that he recently tested negative for COVID-19, but two hours before his appearance, he took a second test, “one of those all the way in the back of the nose tests,” The Daily Beast reports. MacCallum told Giuliani she hopes he receives “a negative on that one,” and then asked him about Biden urging people to wear masks and listen to scientists about how the coronavirus works.Biden, Giuliani declared, doesn’t “really understand what scientists are,” adding that people should listen to their doctors because “they know your personal history. Doctors really aren’t scientists. Scientists almost always have competing opinions. That’s what science is about.” He scoffed that Biden is making “a political statement to scare people, wearing that mask,” and mocked him for donning a face covering “when you are standing at a podium,” saying the “only thing you can infect is the teleprompter that’s near you.”Before saying goodbye to her guest, MacCallum told Giuliani, “I hope that cough is not anything bad, you’re waiting for your test to come back. We hope you’re going to be healthy and well.” Giuliani responded, “I hope so, too. I’ll let you know tomorrow.” > Rudy was part of Trump’s debate prep team and says he’s awaiting the results of a coronavirus test pic.twitter.com/UZI9TN67w6> > — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 6, 2020More stories from theweek.com 4 plausible election scenarios after Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis The pandemic wake-up call America needs Trump is sick. So is the GOP.

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